Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 P608

GH resistance in a group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients

Francis Coucke & Yanina Dockx


Metares, Sint-Gillis Waas, Belgium.


Objective: The rule of GH and IGF1 in the pathogenic of CFS is unclear. One study (related articles number 2) found no difference in IFG1 levels between controls and patients. However in fibromyalgia there are reports of subgroups of patients with a low IGF1 and normal to high GH. This phenomenon is also known with anorexia nervosa patients due to the malnutrition.

Method: We selected a group of ambulatory CFS patients fulfilling the Fukuda criteria with a low IGF1. An ITT was performed with those patients to explore the GH secretion in response hypoglycaemia (glycaemia: <40 mg/dl).

Results: We selected 13 patients with a mean age of 44 years (11 females and 2 males) without malnutrition. These patients have a BMI higher than 18 and lower than 30. The mean IFG1 of the patient group is (99.5±24.5 ng/ml). The normal value of IGF1 in a control group is (200±48 ng/ml). The peak GH after ITT in the group is (56.4±36.6 mIU/l).

Discussion: In this group of 13 CFS patients without known endocrine abnormalities we find a significant low IFG1 of 99.5 ng/ml in comparison to a control group (normal value: 200 ng/ml). These patients show a normal to high GH response after hypoglycaemia. Low IGF1 and high GH response is characteristic for growth hormone resistance. This phenomenon is known with chronic inflammation and anorexia nervosa. There are no reports of GH resistance in CFS. Further studies are needed to discover the pathogenisis and mechanisms in CFS.

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